Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Next Big Thing Week 20

If you are here for the Hollow Bloghop go here, and you can win a stack of books here.

I was tagged by Rachele Alpine, and I think her debut novel just came out, so look for Canary.

What is the working title of your work-in-progress?
A Missing Peace

Where did the idea come from? 
I think from life. In college, all of my friends were international--Asian. My husband is Indian, like straight from India. We've faced a lot of discrimination (sorry, I don't know what else to call it). The green card interview we had to go through was both dehumanizing and alienating, and my own family members supported, because, "we have to make sure people that come here aren't terrorists." The government employee at the interview said the same and went furhter--"it's your fault you're here. You could have just as easily married an American citizen and you wouldn't have to be here." My Catholic sunday school teacher of a husband was and is not a terrorist. He has been mistaken for a Muslim or an Arabic more than once. The obvious answer is, "Wow, you're way off." But what if he was? I don't think it would matter. So I wanted to write something about a love that survived intercultural hatred. My thought was a U.S. soldier and a Muslim woman. Icouldn't figure out how to make it YA. Without knowing this, my husband told me to write something  about a refugee and a soldier's kid. I decided to make the refugee Iraqi, because I wanted her to have an upper class background. A Missing Peace was born.

What actors would you choose to play your characters in a film version?
I have no idea.

Write a one-paragraph summary

Angry seventeen year old Iraqi war refugee Mirriam Yohanna hates her new life in Killeen,Texas, where the main attraction is a military base, and army brats like Caleb Miller think it's okay to call her beautiful or anything other than her name.
Mirriam turns him down in front of everyone. But Caleb is not discouraged and volunteers to be her partner for a government project, so he can woo her to prom and win a bet. As the two start spending time together, Mirriam proves to be a good friend to have. When Caleb's leg is crushed in a hit and run, Mirriam is there to pull him out of the street and push him to keep living. She's also able to tell him the shocking truth about his soldier father's death. Something the other soldiers would never do. That single truth changes both of their lives and strengthens their bond.
Caleb and Mirriam have fallen hard for each other, but when her family finds out, they decide it's time to arrange her marriage to a proper Iraqi man. She must find a way out.

How long did the first draft take to write?
With the exception of 20 pages I'd written earlier, about ten weeks. And I was taking care of a new born! GO me!

What other books would you compare this to, in your genre?
If I had to compare, I would say Perfect Chemistry. But I've never seen anything quite like this in YA. It's Romeo&Juliet meets a military cover up.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
See where the idea came from.

What else about this story might pique the readers’ interest?
It's fast paced with a good deal of action and a whole lot of romance.

I'm tagging for next week:
Nickie Anderson
Patrice Caldwell
Lauren Ritz
Kate Larkindale


  1. I love Romeo and Juliet meets a military cover up. That's such a great pitch line!

  2. I agree with Kelly, good tagline! I've posted on the Next Big Thing, and it's a challenge. Job well done.

  3. Sounds like a great unique story!

  4. Love the personal connection to your book.

    I like the tagline, as well.

    Also, you definitely piqued my interest when you said there was "a whole lot of romance." =)

  5. Thanks for the tag!

    I remember this story from a contest, I think. I like the idea!

  6. Thanks for tagging me, I agree what with everyone else has said...Romeo and Juliet meets a military cover up sounds amazing :)

  7. I'm hooked. I love the concept of a Romeo & Juliet story with a twist. I wanted to keep reading!